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Monday News, July 22

Fair Activities Begin Today

(Le Mars) -- The official start of the Plymouth County Fair is on Wednesday, but there will be plenty of activity happening on the grounds today and Tuesday.  Beginning at 9:00 a.m. today is the fairgrounds cleanup.  Reduced gate passes for 4-H and FFA members will be between 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. and then again between 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.  Livestock stall assignments will start at 1:00 p.m. 4-H static exhibits will be entered between 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.  Later this evening at 7:00 p.m. will be the 4-H and FFA Horse Show timed events at the Horse Arena.


Le Mars School Board To Meet This Evening

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community Board of Education will meet this evening.  The school board will discuss the Iowa Association School Board's Fiscal Management Conference as well as the upcoming school board election.  The school board will discuss legislative priorities for the 2014 legislative session.  The local school board is expected to approve a head start transportation agreement with Mid Sioux Opportunity, as well as review and approve shared vocational program agreements with Remsen-Union, and Hinton to allow students from those schools to attend trades and industry classes and vocational agriculture.


Fire And Rescue Department Responds To Motorcycle Accident

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department responded to a motorcycle accident with
injuries early Sunday morning.  The accident happened near the Bo-Dean's waffle factory at
about 1:20 a.m. early Sunday morning.  No other details regarding the accident are known at
this time.

Remsen To Restrict Water Usage Beginning Today

(Remsen) -- Beginning today, the city of Remsen will implement its water restrictions.  There is to be no watering of lawns between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. and Remsen residents will follow the odd-even watering schedule, with odd numbered homes allowed to water lawns and gardens on odd calendar days, and even numbered homes can water on even calendar days.


Merrill To Have Water Outages

(Merrill) -- Also, starting today, the residents of Merrill may experience some water outages as construction on 5th street continues.  City officials say some of the side streets near 5th Street may also have some water outages in Merrill.


Sibley Explosion Injures Five

SIBLEY, Iowa (AP) - Authorities are trying to determine what caused an explosion that injured five people performing electrical work at a manufacturing plant in northwest Iowa.
The Osceola County Sheriff's office says the explosion happened at the Timewell Tile plant in Sibley Saturday morning while workers were switching some power lines to a newer transformer.
Lieutenant Seth Hoffman says five men sustained burns in the accident. Some of the burns were extensive, but authorities didn't immediately release their names so their current condition wasn't
Hoffman says two of the injured workers were employed by Timewell. The other three were employed by Current Electric. Two city workers outside the plant were unhurt.


9-1-1 System Working Again

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa's 911 system is working again after a problem that routed some calls to out-of-town call centers.
Problems started Friday evening and continued until Saturday.
The greatest affect was on 911 calls made from cellphones.
David Lingren, executive director of the Iowa Communications Network, says the problem stemmed from faulty equipment in the state-owned fiber-optic system. A vendor tried to install new software to fix the problem, but that worsened the situation.
A backup system also failed to activate.
After working all night, Lingren says most of the system was operating normally by Saturday morning.


Drake Officials Hoping Political Papers Will Attract People

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Drake University officials are hoping a new archive with documents from two longtime Iowa elected officials will provide another reason to lure political junkies to the state.
The private Des Moines-based university recently announced plans to house the official documents of retiring Democratic Senator Tom Harkin and many of the papers from former Republican Governor
Robert Ray.
The records will eventually go into a new archive and special collections center being constructed in the Cowles Library in the center of campus.
Drake University President David Maxwell says the new archival material will benefit students and professors at the school, where undergraduates frequently assist with faculty research projects.
Maxwell says the archives show that for students interested in politics and research, "you can do real world stuff" at Drake.

Lawyers Question Juvenile Center's Use Of Solitary Rooms

TOLEDO, Iowa (AP) - Human rights lawyers are questioning the Iowa Juvenile Home's use of solitary rooms for teen girls in foster care for months at a time.
The state-run home where as many as 57 youths with behavior issues are treated uses isolation cells and sometimes withholds classroom instruction to control behavior.
Attorney Nathan Kirstein, with Disability Rights Iowa, says the home is violating state and federal rules, but because it's run by Iowa's Department of Human Services no one inspects it.
Iowa Department of Human Services Director Charles Palmer says the use of isolation rooms is warranted at times.
But since questions were raised, the home's superintendent retired. And the new director says now the isolation rooms are used for minutes, not months, at a time.


Vilsack To Visit Iowa Today

AMES, Iowa (AP) - U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will be in Iowa to speak at the Iowa Farm Bureau's 2013 Economic Summit.
Vilsack, a former Iowa governor, will speak Monday afternoon at the event at Iowa State University in Ames.
Vilsack says in a news release that he will discuss the need for a food, farm and jobs bill.
Vilsack says President Barack Obama's administration has prioritized legislation that promotes rural development, preserves a farm safety net, maintains nutrition programs, honors international trade commitments and advances agricultural research.


Wyoming Business Lost To Fire

WYOMING, Iowa (AP) - Firefighters from several departments are battling a blaze that destroyed one business in the eastern Iowa town of Wyoming and damaged several others.
At least nine different fire departments were called in to help battle the fire on Sunday.
The fire started in the building that housed Ted's Swinging Door restaurant. That building was destroyed and several surrounding businesses were damaged, including the Wyoming Museum.
Volunteers carried artifacts out of the museum until firefighters forced them to stop because of the danger.
One firefighter was taken the hospital for treatment, but condition and his name wasn't immediately available.
Jones County Emergency Management Coordinator Brenda Leonard says no one was in the restaurant building when the fire started.


Missing Person Feared Drowned

DECORAH, Iowa (AP) - Authorities believe that someone who was reported missing on the Upper Iowa River this weekend likely drowned.
Rrescue crews were still looking for the person on Sunday. Witnesses say someone went underwater near a dam east of Decorah on Saturday.
The Winneshiek County Sheriff's office says the search resumed Sunday morning after being suspended the previous day because of darkness.
Officials have not said what the missing person was doing before disappearing.





Saturday News, July 20

Remsen Accident Injures Three People

(Remsen) -- An automobile accident occurred Thursday night at about 6:00 p.m. on Highway 3 in front of the Mrs B's convenient store at Remsen.  Apparently, a GMC Sierra pick up truck driven by 19 year old Nicholas Weiler of Remsen was leaving the Mrs. B's parking lot when it crossed in front of a car being driven by 34 year old Troy Wieler, also of Remsen, who was heading west on Highway 3. Troy Wieler collided with Nicholas Weiler causing the pick up to roll on its top on the curb of Highway 3.  When officials arrived on the scene, all parties were able to exit their vehicles.  However, two children, a boy age 10 and a girl age 8 were transported to the Floyd Valley Hospital in Le Mars for minor injuries.  Nicholas Wieler was transported to Floyd Valley Hospital by family members.  The Remsen Police indicated in their report that Nicholas Wieler was given a citation for failure to yield upon entering a highway.


Plymouth County Relay For Life Raises At Least $27,000

(Le Mars) -- Last night close to 150 people, both as individuals and as teams, participated in the annual cancer fundraiser, Relay For Life.  As of midnight, the campaign was able to raise $27,000.  The participants walked around the track at Jim Lorenzen field in order to raise money and awareness of the deadly disease.  One of the more visible teams was the Team Flockers, with nearly 20 members, all dressed in pink coordinating T-shirts with their campsite littered with small plastic flamingo lawn ornaments.  Shawn Scheffen, the team's spokesperson explains why flamingos serve as the team's mascot.

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Scheffen says the team members comprised of people from Le Mars and Sioux Center, and together as a team, they did fairly well in terms of raising money for cancer research.

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At the time of the interview, Team Flockers had walked approximately 30 miles.  Scheffen says the Team Flockers want to spread the word the cancer awareness and to have fun at somebody's expense by placing the sometimes thought of as an annoying lawn ornament on a designated front lawn.

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One of the highlight's to last evening's event was the lighting of the illuminaries that had surrounded the track, each in memory of someone that had lost their life to cancer. The illuminaries consisted of candles placed inside a bag that glowed.  Also, the organization launched five "sky lanterns" which looked like a three-foot high hot air balloons. Each of the five sky lanterns lifted up several feet in the air and were visible for several miles.

Branstad Orders Transportation Department To Reduce The Number Of  Special Plates

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Governor Terry Branstad is ordering transportation officials to cut the number of special license plates issued to government vehicles that exempt them from traffic
Branstad said Thursday it's unacceptable that 3,218 plates given to local, state and federal agencies have a designation that keeps them out of computerized databases. The designation is meant for
those doing undercover work.
Cities with red light and speed cameras typically let those with the plates out of tickets that would cost ordinary drivers $75 to $200.
Branstad also said the review should look at how many tickets the cameras have issued and how many other violations were captured but not pursued.
The order comes after The Associated Press reported that more than 350 government agencies had been issued such plates.

Branstad and Daugaard Dedicate New State Park

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard (DOO'-gahrd) and Iowa Governor Terry Branstad joined tribal leaders and Game, Fish and Parks officials on Friday to dedicate South
Dakota's first state park in 40 years.
The Good Earth State Park at Blood Run is the 13th state park in South Dakota. Blood Run was designated a national historic landmark in 1970. The area along the Big Sioux River bordering Iowa was used by thousands of Oneota Indians into the early 1700s. The area includes a large oak forest, rolling hills, flood plains, riverside bluffs and burial mounds.
South Dakota owns about 600 acres of land at the park, while Iowa owns several hundred acres as well. The ultimate goal is to join the land, making it the first joint state park in the country.


Daugaard Pokes Fun At Branstad On Speeding Issue

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard (DOO'-gahrd) poked fun at Iowa Governor Terry Branstad on Friday, saying he didn't want the governor to get in trouble for speeding
to an event in his state.
Both governors were in Sioux Falls to dedicate South Dakota's newest state park. Daugaard told the audience that as the event's start time neared, he asked a staff member to contact Branstad's
staff to inquire about his whereabouts.
But Daugaard added he told the staff member to say "don't speed to get here."
In April, an Iowa trooper clocked Branstad's SUV going 84 miles per hour, but the car was not stopped after it was determined it was Branstad inside. A trooper who complained about the incident
was fired on Thursday. Officials say the firing wasn't related to the speeding.


Branstad Names Tipton To Utilities Board

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Governor Terry Branstad has named an attorney from the Des Moines suburb of Clive to the Iowa Utilities Board.
Branstad announced Friday that he had appointed 61-year-old Sheila Tipton to the board.
She is an attorney with a Des Moines law firm and has worked extensively on energy-related issues.
Branstad says in a news release that she has represented public utilities, renewable energy developers and other business entities.
She'll begin her new position August 19th.
She replaces Swati Dandekar, who resigned and says she's considering running for Iowa's open 1st Congressional District seat.


Two Republican Senators To Visit Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Two Republican senators are visiting Des Moines to court- a group that could wield powerful influence over the outcome of the state's 2016 GOP presidential caucuses - Iowa's evangelical pastors.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz privately has addressed the gathering assembled by the conservative American Renewal Project at a downtown hotel Friday morning. Also scheduled to appear around
midday is Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, the son of former Texas Congressman Ron Paul. Rand's father Ron finished third during Iowa's GOP caucuses in 2012.
After his speech, Cruz called pastors "critical leaders."
It's Cruz's first trip to Iowa. He also was scheduled to headline a state Republican fundraiser around lunchtime.
Paul visited Iowa in the spring. He's also set to meet with Latino and African-American ministers.


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